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A good macro lens?

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  • A good macro lens?

    I have a Nikon D7000 and I'm looking into buying a macro lens for it, but I have no idea what to even consider buying. Everything seems to have mixed reviews. I've looked at photos people have taken using a few different ones and a lot of the pictures seem to have poor image quality. You can't exactly tell online if it's the lens or the eperience/inexperience of the person.
    Right now I use my Nikon Coolpix L110 for macro shots. It takes great photos. I can get right up on anything. I've even taken photos of water droplets on the lens itself (not the best thing to be doing, i know) I just get tired of having to carry them both around and switch out constantly.

    So, does anyone know or use a macro lens that works well?

    Please and Thank you for any help!

  • #2
    I dont know where youve been looking for samples, but all Nikon's macro lenses are probably their best in terms of IQ. Depending on what you're looking for, you've got several options.

    40mm f/2.8
    60mm f/2.8 (AF-S and AF-D)
    85mm f/3.5 VR DX
    105mm f/2.8 VR
    200mm f/4 (older, and likely not available new).

    What do you plan on shooting? That'll be the biggest factor; some subjects need longer working distances so you'll want longer focal lengths. I've tried the 40, 60, and 85; I have the 40 because I dont do macro particularly seriously and dont need anything in particular from it.
    I am responsible for what I say; not what you understand.
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    • #3

      Shooo Fly by niXerKG, on Flickr

      For me I chose the Nikon AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED N.

      I don't know where you're getting the mixed reviews because Nikon of all companies make awesome macro lenses due to their experience making microscope lenses.

      Either way I chose the 105mm because I needed as much working distance as possible for capturing bugs and I like the focal length on DX for portraits. If I were really into macro work I'd get a 200mm f/4 or if I was shooting stationary objects a bellows system.

      Another factor to look at is price. The 105mm is not relatively cheap.

      If you don't see yourself doing bugs often and just want to do a lot of close up work then the 40mm, 60mm is right up your alley.

      You can even look for deals on older AF-D/AI(S) (Manual Focus) lenses since most macro work is done in manual focus anyways. If you do go the, AI/AIS, route make sure you get one that does 1:1 life-size reproduction ratio.

      More importantly is light, a dedicated macro flash system is not cheap so you may want to pick up a flash if you don't have one that you can at least use with CLS (SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910).

      The only 3rd party alternative I will recommend is the Tokina 100mm. Their build quality is about the same as Nikon and their optics are decent. They also were founded by former Nikon engineers. There is also the Tamron 90mm which have optics that are on par with Nikon but their build quality is really cheap.

      Or if you have any kit zooms like the 55-200mm or 55-300mm you can just mess with diopters like the Raynox DCR250.

      Your final option is to upgrade your P&S to a P7000. I love it as a companion to my D7000 and it can even use my SB-700.

      It's MF and macro abilities are cool and give you an "ant view":

      Lego View by niXerKG, on Flickr
      My Website: OMGSquirrel | Flickr | Gear: D3, Df, Rokinon 14mm f/2.8 UMC AE IF-ED, AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.4G, AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8G, AF-S VR Zoom-Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED, SB-700, SB-600, Manfrotto 055CXPRO3, Induro PHQ1


      • #4
        I got the Sigma 60mm F2.0 Macro. It also doubles as a perfect portrait lens. The reason the 60mm is so good is because it equates the 85mm lenses on a full frame FX camera body like the D3 or D700(same focal length). Price was very good too !

        It is a little slower, but speed is not needed for macro or portraits.



        series of 5 more
        Splash_4  D7000
        Last edited by mbrobich; 03-04-2012, 11:44 PM.
        Nikon D7000-AA filter removed, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, Sigma 50-150 OS f/2.8, Nikkor 300mm f/4, 2x SB600, Tokina 10-17mm fisheye.


        • #5
          I use a Sigma 105 2.8 macro. I got a great deal on it used on CL. I would recommend it. It's a tad soft wide open, but a great lens and can usually be found for a pretty good deal. It also doubles as a decent portrait lens.
          Syracuse Wedding Photographer


          • #6
            For true macro I use the sigma 150mm f/2.8. A longer lens allows a longer working distance which can be a huge plus when doing true macro...Otherwise I prefer my G10 P&S.
            the Photographic
            SharpShooter Industries
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            • #7
              I also use the Sigma 150mm f/2.8 (did they discontinue this lens?), but for Canon.
              My flickr photostream

              Canon XTi, Canon 5D Mark II
              18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 (EF-S), 50mm f/1.8 II, Sigma 150mm f/4 Macro, 24-105mm f/4 L, 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 L IS


              • #8
                I've used both the 60mm f/2.8G, the 85mm DX, and the 105mm VR. They're all absolutely fantastic pieces of glass. I'd venture the 60mm is the sharpest, but I much preferred the overall meatiness of the 105mm. The 85mm isn't much of a long-term investment 'cause if you ever go full-frame (FX), it'll vignette strongly in the corners.
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